Part I: White Sweatpants in a Rock N Roll Video Communicates Something Bizarre and Strangely Informative.
This is my second post in 2 years of this blog attempt. I’m coming at you with general experience. No PhD acquired. Thought I would have written more by now, but I didn’t. I guess I was busy.
Disclosure: You have the freedom to admonish this perspective and bring a different opinion or solution based on your experience. I realize that this post is going to polarize myself from my industry, and piss alot of people off. I’m prepared for that.
That out of the way, here we go…
I’m old enough, yet sprite enough, to remember a time in the ad industry when coworkers actually communicated with each other. I miss that time. Like, in person in real time. Slack didn’t exist. Yes, kids, Slack didn’t exist at one point in time and humans got stuff done. I’m even nostalgic about a time when email was secondary to just actually calling someone. OR WALKING TO THEIR DESK TO TALK TO THEM. Like, ideas were crafted. Shit actually happened. Clients as it goes were still happy and perplexed and confused and worrisome and challenging.
What has changed, to the detriment of soft skills of growth in the industry, from my perspective, is that agency staff spends an inordinate amount of time figuring out a way to communicate something with multiple channels and platforms of technology without considering what’s best for their system process, inherently built on the talent that executes the work. The talent suffers without knowing that they suffer. (I’ll expand on this in my Part II)
I segue and think about when Mic Jagger decided to sport a mid-80s aerobics- inspired outfit during the Start Me Up video shoot. This guy had 30 years of doing this music thing under his belt and gave zero fucks about appearances. If this isn’t the birth of new age hipster movements, I don’t know what is and I owe you a pizza.
He looks like a goddamn disenchanted housewife in this video. The lesson to learn is that Keith and Mic were the renegades, the pushers, the creative balls-out idiots, and here Charlie Watts behind the skins was there making faces to bring them back to earth.
Let’s acknowledge that the transition from 70’s to 80’s in the way of rock n roll is an uphill battle in and of itself that few bands can muster.
But the charm of the video only worked if Mic went into space for Charlie to bring Keith and Mic back down to earth with his endearing smirks. You need both characters and rolls to make the magic happen.
Agencies in St. Louis and beyond need to take some cues from this video. I only say St. Louis because I know the caliber of talent here, and have lived here most of my life.
I’ll follow up with part 2 tomorrow, but here’s the lesson today:
remove your people from the screen once a week to discover something in the community radius in which they work
trust in the creative process because you might pick up an audience that wasn’t in your initial creative brief
trust that your creatives are there to wear the white sweatpants, and your account execs are the Charlie Watts to bring them back to earth. But you need both.
PS, At this juncture, I have paralleled this anecdote with the creative field, but all i really wanna do is talk about music.